BEIRUT: Most people in Lebanon have felt that particular anxiety which arises when you are about to embark on that final stretch of work before a deadline, or have a Skype appointment with far-away family members, when the electricity cuts out.
Or your Internet expires. And many choose not to even invest in an often unreliable and expensive Internet package anyway. Here are some of Beirut’s best cafes with Wi-Fi, where you can email the boss while procrastinating just enough with a cappuccino and some people-watching.
Open 24 hours a day, this spacious Ashrafieh cafe, “Night project,” is perfect for last-minute late-night cramming sessions before an exam or an interview. There’s a wide menu from breakfast to pizzas and salads and great desserts, so you won’t get hungry even if you have to work right through the night.
Opposite Sagesse school, around the corner from Spinneys, Ashrafieh. 01-325-326. Open 24/7.
Founded in 1935 (at a different location), this Beirut institution serves some of the best coffee in town. With comfy seating inside, and a shaded outdoor area, Cafe Younes is the ideal spot to get some work done in a relaxed environment. If you get peckish try a labneh bagel for LL3,500 or the Nutella and banana pancakes for LL4,000.
Nehme Yafet Street, Hamra. 01-347-531. Open daily 7 a.m. until around midnight.
This classy cafe specializes in teas from around the world, and gorgeous salads and sandwiches inspired from all corners of the globe. If you feel like working in a more luxurious setting, Gou is the perfect venue. There’s also outdoor seating for those few remaining breezy days.
Charles Malek Avenue, Ashrafieh. 03-828-409. Open daily 10 a.m. until around midnight.
If you’re craving a real American brunch of bacon, eggs and pancakes to get you through your work session, try this diner-style cafe in Hamra. Unfortunately it’s closed Sundays, but on weekday mornings it’s quiet enough to get some deadlines met.
Mahatma Gandhi Street, Hamra. 01-739-476. Open Mon-Sat, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
If you work better after having a beer or two, perhaps De Prague is the place for you. This trendy bar behind Hamra street projects films (without sound) every night onto the walls. Treat yourself with one of their fantastic cocktails after you’ve finished your work.
Makdessi Street, along from HSBC, Hamra. 03-575-282. Open daily 9 a.m. until around 2 a.m.
This cozy pub is small enough to get some work done without too many distractions. With beers priced at LL6,000, you can relax in the lively evening atmosphere after folding away your laptop.
Makdessi Street, Hamra. 03-803-912. Open daily 3 p.m. until late.
Newly opened, this cute little bar behind Gemmayzeh serves coffee and toasted sandwiches if you think alcohol might hinder you getting any work done. Currently open only in the evenings, pop down to Skype with family in different time zones.
Pasteur Street. 03-148-890. Open daily 7 p.m. until around 1 a.m.
This narrow, friendly bar in Mar Mikhael is perfect for catching up with friends online. Don’t get too distracted by the chatty bar staff and regulars, though. Breakfast, lunches and coffee available, as well as beers at LL5,000.
Mar Mikhael Street, past EdL. 01-565-313. Open daily 10 a.m. until late.